Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Week 4 Results: A Weekend of Thrills and Spills - Everton Takes Over; Leicester Fox Up; Thrilla at the Villa; This Should Spur United

Top of the Table

Everton, with their defeat of Brighton, now top the table with four wins in four tries. They look terrific despite the occasional nervousness in goal. All of Carlo Ancelotti’s moves are working and the Premier League has two new stars this year in Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James Rodriguez. Calvert-Lewin is joint top of the league, with Son Heung-min, in goals scored. Rodriquez, after four games, has been involved in more goals than any Everton midfielder in the entirety of last season.

Former top dog Leicester, meanwhile, suffered a surprising defeat to West Ham to kick off a weekend of surprises in the Premier League. Leicester managed just four shots in a game where they controlled seventy percent of possession.

Aston Villa joins Everton as the only remaining undefeated team following a shocking and historic 7-2 win over Liverpool. Aston Villa looks a transformed team with a far more dangerous attack than seen last season. Ollie Watkins, signed from championship side Brentford, had a hat trick by the first half whistle. Jack Grealish added a brace and three assists. Newly acquired Ross Barkley looks a great fit in the Aston Villa midfield, combining well with Grealish and adding a goal of his own. The seven goals were the most scored against a defending topflight champion since 1953. One would think this was an outlier for a Liverpool team which was without injured goalkeeper Allisson. Liverpool’s vulnerability to quick passing counterattacks, however, could be of concern as Leeds and Arsenal have also experienced some success in attacking Klopp’s high line. Aston Villa had only thirty percent possession of the ball in scoring its seven goals. 

While fireworks were occurring elsewhere in the league, Arsenal was workmanlike in a 2-1 defeat of Sheffield United. Second half goals scored within a three-minute span by Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka lifted the Gunners. Arsenal now adds Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey to their infield mix in what was one of the bigger deals of Monday’s transfer business. A good start to the season apparently loosened some purse strings for the North London club. Regrettably, Partey’s cost was partially offset by Monday’s release of twenty-seven-year mascot Gunnersaurus. A rumored transfer day signing of Gunnersaurus by Spurs ultimately did not materialize.


Tottenham Hotspur humiliated Manchester United Sunday in a historic 6-1 demolition of one of current Spurs Manager Jose Mourinho’s former clubs. The second Spurs offensive explosion in the last three weeks now sees them tied with Everton and Leicester for most goals scored this season. Stars Harry Kane and Son Heung-min each had two goals and an assist for Spurs. 

Ben Chilwell made his much-anticipated Premier League debut for Chelsea and delivered a goal and an assist in an easy 4-0 victory for Chelsea over Crystal Palace. Interestingly given the high-priced Chelsea attack, two of their goals were courtesy of defenders while two late penalties further inflated the score line.

Mid Table

Leeds United continues to entertain with an exciting style of play which provided end to end action in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City. Valencia transfer Rodrigo notched his first Premier League goal for Leeds which has not lost since a one goal defeat to Liverpool on opening day. 

Newcastle has also lost but one of their four matches. A serviceable attack led by transfer Callum Wilson provides a different look for a Magpies team which can still lock teams down with a low-lying defense when called upon. 

West Ham has now moved to tenth in the table with a second consecutive dominating win over quality opposition. The Hammers have scored seven goals while posting clean sheets against Wolves and Leicester in the last two weeks. Rising young Hammer star Declan Rice continues to improve in a box to box midfield role. 

Southampton had little trouble with a punch less West Brom team to post a second consecutive win for the Saints. Theo Walcott, who started his professional career at Southampton, was added by the Saints Monday to help an attack reliant on star man Danny Ings. 

Crystal Palace was particularly unimpressive in a 4-0 loss to Chelsea. The second lowest scoring team in the Premier League last year, ahead of only relegated Norwich, is again looking impotent in attack. Lack of offensive ambition or result combined with defensive lapses against Chelsea made for a distressing afternoon for Eagle fans.

Wolves earned a second win of the season in posting a narrow 1-0 victory over bottom of the table Fulham. 

Manchester City, sitting in an unaccustomed 14th place in the table, at least provided a good watch for neutrals in a wide-open draw with Leeds. The Citizens have a game in hand versus much of the field due to a delayed season start and should be expected to rise in the table despite continuing injury woes. 

Bottom of the Table

Brighton fell to streaking Everton for the Seagulls third defeat in four games played. 

Manchester United suffered its joint worst home defeat in the Premier League when pummeled by Spurs on Sunday. Even being reduced to ten men upon Anthony Martial being tossed in the first half does not account for the flood of goals allowed by the porous Red Devil offense. Center back and captain Harry Maguire received much of the criticism. Center back Eric Baily, starting for the struggling Victor Lindelöf, gifted one of Spurs’ many goals. Another poor performance from Luke Shaw puts his starting spot at risk with the Red Devils’ Monday acquisition of Alex Telles from Porto. Following Sunday’s five-goal losing margin, the Red Devils now have a worse goal differential than all but struggling newcomers West Brom and Fulham. 

West Brom managed just two shots on goal in losing to Southampton. 

Burnley, Sheffield United and Fulham continue to suffer a pointless existence and occupy the relegation positions in the table. Sean Dyche continues to air discontent with the thin roster he has been provided by the Burnley Board. Sheffield United scored its first goal of the season against Arsenal on Sunday. The Blades have now secured young Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster in hopes of bolstering their attack. 

Fulham Manager Scott Parker experimented with putting five men on the backline and his squad at least limited the damage in a 1-0 loss to Wolves. Then again, they managed only two shots on goal and remain odds on favorites to be one and done in their return to the topflight.

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